Stress-Induced Diarrhea

Supportive Management

  • Manage stress levels.
    • Have plenty of rest. Sleep for 7-8 hours every night in a dark room, as melatonin – a powerful anti-oxidant that promotes healing through boosting the immune function – are found to be produced in higher amounts when sleeping in darkness. If sleeping in a dark room is not possible, wear an eye patch instead.
    • Take breaks from stressful situations (e.g. go for a short walk).
    • Stay away from situations that induce stress (e.g. avoid driving along congested roads, set the time advanced by 5-10 minutes to avoid stressing over being late).
    • Schedule time for hobbies and other enjoyable recreational activities. Every day, do one pleasurable activity, even just for 15 minutes. The perception of a pleasurable activity may vary from one person to another – it’s something personal. Pleasurable activities may involve simple activities such as writing a journal entry, reading a favorite book, watching a favorite movie or series, listening or singing to favorite songs, walking in nature, playing favorite sports, or taking up a new hobby (e.g. sewing, knitting, cooking).
    • Learn to say no. Acknowledge own limits.
    • Spend time with loved ones.
    • Let go of grudges. Learn to forgive.
    • Express gratitude.
    • Perform relaxation exercises (e.g. deep breathing, music therapy, meditation).
      • Deep breathing:
        • Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can be alone with yourself.
        • Sit upright in bed or chair, and find a comfortable position.
        • Place one or both hands over the abdomen, just below the ribs.
        • Deeply breathe in through the nose, while keeping mouth closed. Breathe in for a count of four.
        • Feel the abdomen rise with each inhalation, and as far as possible.
        • Through a pursed-lip, breathe out. Breathe out for a count of seven.
        • Feel the abdomen sink with each exhalation.
        • Perform deep-breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes at a time, and as many times each day.
      • Music therapy:
        • Choose a soothing, therapeutic song. Research findings indicate that music with slower tempo (60 beats per minute) induces a calming, relaxing effect. Sounds of nature (drops of rain, flowing waterfalls) are also relaxing. But the best relaxation music ultimately depends on each person’s preference – whichever music one finds relaxing (albeit upbeat or moderately loud) – may be used for music therapy.
        • Relax before and during the music therapy by performing deep breathing exercises (see instructions above).
        • Listen actively to the music. Feel the music. Focus your mind on the music, get lost in it – listen to every beat and every silence in between. Let the music’s mood influence yours.
      • Meditation:
  • Manage possible dehydrating effects from stress-induced diarrhea.
    • Take an oral rehydration solution (ORS) which includes sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade) or the commercially sold Oresol. Take one glass with each bowel movement.
    • A home-made oral rehydration solution (ORS) may also be taken. Take one glass with each bowel movement.
      • Six (6) level teaspoons of Sugar
      • Half (1/2) level teaspoon of Salt
      • One liter of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled
    • Avoid dehydrating drinks such as caffeinated drinks (e.g. cola, coffee, tea, energy drinks), as well as alcohol.

Download PDF

Supportive Management requires Adobe Reader plugin to view the PDF file. Click here to download Adobe Reader.

Herbal Medicine

  • Coconut Water
    • For fluid and electrolyte replacement
    • For every 2 glasses of plain coconut water, add 2 glasses of clean water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Take one glass with each bowel movement.